SXSW Session: A Conversation with Michael Eisner

The conversation with Michael Eisner has started and Mark Cuban is the moderator. Cool. Michael talks about Vuguru, a video production company founded by Tornante (headed by Michael) in March 2007. Vuguru's "Prom Queen," was shot in 90 second shots for 80 "sessions". Vuguru is producing new, fresh content in somewhat unexpected ways. To hear someone like Michael talk about new media was fascinating...I'm dating myself...but I remember watching the movie of the week on ABC as a kid and one of my favorite parts was his lead-in especially if Mickey was accompanying him. Fast-forward to today and he is onstage with Mark Cuban talking about how we will consume content in the next 5 years.

There was a nice interplay between Mark and Michael. Mark is a self described geek. After one particular stream of technology-laden opinion from Mark, Michael looks at him and says, "I don't understand anything you just said" and the audience broke up in laughter. But what he did say is that he understands the story and the importance of the story and the hunger of people for the story. His example was user-generated content. It can be the worst content ever, but people will watch it. People are hungry for the story. And that these new media channels are an important addition to what currently exists. And that the time is right. Michael pointed out that while it is bouncing along now, at some point the traditional media will wake up and professional content and delivery through the internet will explode. And he also feels that is absolutely will not erase traditional means...it will do what new technology always does "1 + 1 = 3" -- just like the marriage of movies and television created a wider audience, the marriage of new technology and traditional media will create a wider reach.

Michael talked briefly about how Vuguru got off the ground...and the fact that it's a small shop (3 folks?) and that they jumped right in. They never did focus groups, they never had a plan, instead they found the community...the people who were already doing it and doing it well and they paid for it, stiched it together, and made it work. That is how Prom Queen got pulled together.

Key Takeaway (and for those of you who are paying attention at home...you'll see a theme here):
If you are on the internet you have to go to where the community is. You have to find the people who are already users, creators, and consumers of the content you are putting out there and listen to them and tap into the resource.

-Heidi

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